Image courtesy of Vegas Sports Daily
Having not played since December 5 due to COVID-19 protocols, and in a game wherein they won against Big 12 Conference heavyweight Kansas State for their first victory of the season, the UNLV Rebels return to action with a double-header against Mountain West Conference rival Colorado State on Thursday, January 7th, and again on Saturday the 9th.
A team loaded with talent who seemed to be gaining momentem and confidence, the Runnin Rebels will need to pick up right where they left off before the program’s pause in order to maintain their upward trajectory as 10 of 13 scholarship players have yet to even play a game this season.
Players like sophomore Caleb Grill have proven to be explosive new additions to the roster by doing it on both sides of the ball. As the team’s second leading scorer, averaging 13.6 points per game, he’s also a top-three rebounder with 20 so far on the season behind only Cheikh Mbacke and Bryce Hamilton.
Hamilton has also played some outstanding basketball as he leads the team in points with 104, and perhaps more impressively, rebounds as he edges out his 6’11” center by one with 31 total rebounds on the season.
Their last outing was their best as Rebel junior guard “World Star” David Jenkins Jr. poured in seven 3’s and put up a season-high 25 points, while junior guard Bryce Hamilton contruibuted 18 points of his own along with eight rebounds and a career-high six assists. The ever-consistent Cableb Grill would also score 12 points. The “big three” would combine for 55 of UNLV’s 68 total points.
If a healthy Rebel team can continue to play confidently while its coaching staff works at developing the burgeoning new talent its recruited, UNLV shoud have no problem racking up conference wins. They will certianly be tested in Fort Collins this Tursday against the Colorado State Rams, but if they play a smart disciplined game and listen to coach Otzelberger and his staff, UNLV should cruise back home with two more in the ‘win’ column.